Airport Focuses on Disaster Preparedness
Memphis International Airport continues to place an emphasis on disaster readiness. In April, the area’s emergency response agency representatives convened with Memphis International Airport tenants for its annual tabletop review of the Airport’s emergency plan.
The exercise allowed participants to present the skills, roles, procedures and potential resources they would use in an actual airport incident or accident.
Airport Operations personnel planned, coordinated and conducted the exercise, which was centered on a multiple point tornado strike of aircraft, buildings and property within the airport complex. The group divided into teams and delivered their responses as each sequence of the weather-related incident was presented to them both visually and audibly. This particular scenario required participants to consider an exceptionally broad range of impacts.
The Tabletop Emergency Exercise was held on site and included representatives from the Airport, Airlines, Emergency Management Agency, Fire Department, Health Department, Tennessee Air National Guard, Homeland Security/TSA and Medical Responders.
The annual tabletop review is followed by a live full-scale exercise every three years in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The next full-scale exercise will take place in 2008.
As part of the Airport’s focus on emergency prepardness, the first phase of the Airport’s new Consolidated Emergency Response Center, a $7 million Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Station (ARFF) is underway and is scheduled for occupancy in spring 2007.
The new facility will separate the Airport-related emergency equipment from the current Fire Station #33’s non-ARFF equipment.
The new ARFF Station will be a one-story structure containing approximately 20,000 square feet of space with a partial mezzanine, five apparatus bays, an equipment storage bay, foam storage area, dorms, kitchen facilities, restrooms, library training area and a fitness area.
The new facility will be built to current codes including seismic ones, and will be located on the east side of the Airport at the intersection of Taxiway Y & P. The new location will be more centrally located and will allow for quicker response and better overall coverage. It also will give ARFF the increased space they need and will be designed to be easily expanded from both an operational and monetary standpoint.
ARFF’s primary responsibilities include aircraft rescue, extinguishing aircraft fires, providing emergency medical services on the airfield and in the terminal, hazardous material response, fire inspections, CPR training for airport tenants, responding to mutual-aid requests from Federal Express and Tennessee Air National Guard, and vehicle accidents on the Airport.
A future phase will add Public Safety, Communications, ID and Operations Offices.
Work is underway on a new Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Station. This is the first phase of the Airport’s new Consolidated Emergency Response Center.